Town of Cummington

Fire Protection Classification Code

 

Fire Protection Classification Codes for Western Massachusetts towns. Towns that have lower numbers have better fire protection services than towns with higher numbers as judged by the Independent Insurance Organization. Towns with better fire protection services will have lower insurance premiums. Towns with ratings of 4 or 5 will have insurance premiums of $120 to $150 less than towns with ratings of 9 or 10 depending on the insurance company. The state insurance commission does not regulate fire insurance rates but all insurance companies use the Fire Protection Classification Codes to calculate their insurance premiums.

 

Community

Code

Community

Code

Community

Code

ADAMS

5/9

GRANVILLE

9/9

PITTSFIELD

3/9

AGAWAM

4

GREAT BARRINGTON

4/9

PLAINFIELD

9/9

ALFORD

9/9

GREENFIELD

4/9

RICHMOND

9

AMHERST

4/9

HADLEY

6/9

ROWE

9/9

ASHFIELD

6/9

HANCOCK

6/9

RUSSELL

6/9

BECKET

9/10

HATFIELD

6/9

SANDISFIELD

9/9

BELCHERTOWN

6/9

HAWLEY

9/9

SAVOY

9/9

BLANDFORD

8/9

HEATH

9/9

SHEFFIELD

7/9

BUCKLAND

9/9

HINSDALE

6/9

SHELBURNE

5/9

CHARLEMONT

9

HOLYOKE

3

SOUTH HADLEY

4/9

CHESHIRE

7/9

HUNTINGTON

6/9

SOUTHAMPTON

6/9

CHESTER

6/9

LANESBOROUGH

5/9

SOUTHWICK

5/9

CHESTERFIELD

9/9

LEE

5/9

SPRINGFIELD

2

CHICOPEE

3

LENOX

5/9

SUNDERLAND

6/9

COLRAIN

8/9

LEVERETT

9/9

TOLLAND

9/9

CONWAY

9/9

LONGMEADOW

4

WASHINGTON

9/9

CUMMINGTON

5/9

LUDLOW

4

WEST SPRINGFIELD

3

DALTON

5/9

MONSON

5/9

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

9/9

DEERFIELD

6/9

MONTAGUE

6/9

WESTFIELD

3/9

EAST LONGMEADOW

4/9

MONTEREY

9/9

WESTHAMPTON

8/9

EASTHAMPTON

5/9

MONTGOMERY

9

WHATELY

5/9

EGREMONT

9/9

MOUNT WASHINGTON

9/9

WILBRAHAM

5/9

FLORIDA

9

NORTH ADAMS

4/9

WILLIAMSBURG

6/9

GILL

6/9

NORTHAMPTON

4/9

WILLIAMSTOWN

5/9

GOSHEN

9/9

OTIS

9/9

WINDSOR

9/9

GRANBY

7/10

PERU

9

WORTHINGTON

7/9

 

ISO is an independent organization that serves insurance companies, fire departments, insurance regulators, and others by providing information about risk. ISO's expert staff collects information about municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a Public Protection Classification a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria.

Virtually all U.S. insurers of homes and business property use ISO's Public Protection Classification in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.

A Community's PPC depends on:

> fire alarm and communications systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems

> the fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, and geographic distribution of fire companies

> the water supply system, including condition and maintenance of hydrants, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires

ISO's PPC program evaluates communities according to a uniform set of criteria, incorporating nationally recognized standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association and the American Water Works Association. So, the PPC program provides a useful benchmark that helps fire departments and other public officials measure the effectiveness of their efforts and plan for improvements.

On average, communities with superior fire-protection services and therefore good Public Protection Classifications have lower fire losses than communities whose fire-protection services are not as comprehensive.

ISO reviewed the cost of fire claims per thousand dollars worth of insured property by PPC for communities around the country. The two graphs below based on five years of data for homeowners and commercial property insurance show that the communities with better classifications experienced noticeably lower fire losses than the communities with poorer classifications.

The dollar value of a better PPC varies by state. But on average across the country, the cost of fire losses for homeowners policies in communities graded Class 9 is 65 percent higher than in communities graded Class 5.* If a community improved from Class 9 to Class 5, homeowners could expect their premiums for fire insurance to drop substantially.

*According to loss data collected by ISO from insurance companies for accident years 1994 to 1998. continue reading

 

 

COST OF FIRE CLAIMS PER $1,000 OF INSURED PROPERTY COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

On average, per $1,000 of insured property, communities in the worst classification had commercial-property fire losses more than three times as high as communities in the best classification.**

COST OF FIRE CLAIMS PER $1,000 OF INSURED PROPERTY HOMEOWNERS

On average, per $1,000 of insured property, communities in the worst classification had homeowners fire losses more than twice as high as communities in the best classification.**

**Based on premium and loss information that insurers reported to ISO. Excludes data from statistically rated cities. Out of more than 45,000 fire districts in the United States, only 42 have achieved a PPC of 1. Therefore, the data sample for Class 1 is not statistically credible. continue reading

 

 

 

If a fire district improves its PPC, homeowners and businesses in the community often save money on their insurance premiums. If property owners spend their savings in the community, the extra cash can help improve the local economy. And a community with improved fire protection may find it easier to attract new business, increasing jobs and boosting the economy even more.

In 2000, the Rural Fire Protection Work Group, a committee appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, quantified the economic benefits of improved fire protection for that state. The work group considered a series of measures designed to improve the Public Protection Classifications of rural Arkansas communities. In its final report, submitted to Governor Huckabee in August 2000, the work group estimated the statewide cost of those projects at about $150 million or $15 million a year for 10 years.

Next, the work group projected the reduction in property insurance premiums when each of 839 rural fire departments has improved its PPC to Class 7. According to that analysis, the statewide savings would total more than $100 million per year. More than 425,000 homeowners would share the benefits, with an average annual savings of $235 per household.

The Arkansas work group projected increased economic activity at more than $2 billion over a period of 13 years. According to the work group's analysis, that economic activity would generate additional state and local sales-tax revenue more than offsetting the cost of the improvements.

 

You might think that insurance companies could use loss statistics from a particular community to determine the effectiveness of the community's public fire protection. But past statistics don't reflect recent improvements. If a community upgrades its fire protection today, the loss statistics insurers use in determining premiums will not reflect the full value of the improvement for many years. That's why insurers rely on ISO to provide an objective evaluation of the current capabilities of communities all over the country.*

And that's why ISO has an aggressive outreach program to identify changes that may affect a community's PPC or the insurance premiums of individual homeowners and businesses. ISO works with fire departments, state agencies, state and local fire associations, and insurers to gather information about such changes.

Under ISO's program, more than 16,000 fire districts have provided up-to-date information about changes in fire-district boundaries, automatic-aid agreements, fire station locations, and access to water. ISO uses that information in scheduling visits to communities to reevaluate their firefighting capabilities.

More than half the communities ISO reevaluates in any year receive better Public Protection Classifications. Only about 2% receive worse classifications. So it pays for a community to let ISO know about any change that may affect the PPC. As an added service, ISO staff members routinely review with local fire officials the factors that went into a PPC grading. ISO provides that service at no charge to the community, and ISO staff can also advise community officials about how particular investments or other efforts may improve the grade.

For more information on the PPC program and on ISO's community outreach efforts fire officials and others can visit ISO's special public protection website, ISO Mitigation Online, at www.isomitigation.com.

*A number of very large jurisdictions have common fire-protection services and sufficient fire losses to be a reliable predictor of future losses. In those defined municipal areas, insurers rely on loss statistics compiled by ISO to determine premiums, rather than using ISO's examination of public protection capabilities. continue reading

DISTRIBUTION OF COMMUNITIES BY PPC

Number of fire districts in each PPC as of December 31, 2000. Where a fire district has more than one PPC, the graph reflects the better PPC.

Many communities have made great improvements in their fire protection, and ISO recognizes those improvements with better Public Protection Classifications. But still, more than one-third of the fire districts in the United States have a Class 9 rating, which indicates the minimum recognized standard of fire protection. And more than 62% of the fire districts have gradings of Class 7 to 10. The value of homes in areas graded Class 7 to 10 is rising faster than in areas with better classifications. From 1994 to 1998, the average amount of insurance purchased by homeowners in communities graded Class 7 to 10 grew nearly 14 times faster than in communities graded Class 1 to 6, where the rate of growth was only 0.3 percent.**

** Based on data reported to ISO.

 

Fire is still the leading cause of loss for personal and commercial property insurance policies. But there's a definite correlation between improved fire protection as measured by the PPC program and reduced losses. Insurers have recognized that correlation for almost a hundred years.

By offering substantial economic benefits to communities that earn better Public Protection Classifications, the program encourages improvements and helps fire departments plan for, budget, and justify expenditures that reduce property damage from fires.

And by helping communities prepare to fight fires effectively, ISO's PPC program saves lives.